Here’s another look at the attendance records published by Cambridge City council, which show how often our elected councillors turn up to council meetings. These numbers cover the period since the last local elections.
The good news is that the overall attendance rate has gone up, if only slightly, since the last time I looked at these figures. Overall, councillors managed an attendance rate of 91.7%, turning up for meetings on about 11 out of every 12 occasions that they were expected. This compares with 87.9% in the year up to the 2011 elections. Here are the figures by party:
The lone Conservative councillor, Trumpington’s Shapour Meftah, tops the ratings, but only a fraction ahead of the 21 Lib Dem councillors. Their attendance rate has moved noticeably ahead of Labour this year, perhaps reflecting the fact that their majority was slashed at the last local elections, and they now control the council only thanks to the Mayor’s casting vote, making it vitally important that they turn up.
The graph at the bottom of the page shows the attendance record of all 42 councillors. No fewer than 16 councillors have a 100% record since the elections. Romsey Lib Dem Paul Saunders is the current champion meeting attender, with 36 out of 36.
At the other end of the table, the bottom three places are occupied by councillors Cantrill, Bird and Pogonowski. It is perhaps a surprise to see Newnham Lib Dem Rod Cantrill, a member of the council’s Executive, in the bottom three, though his record does only reflect two missed meetings out of eight. Labour’s Gerri Bird, who represents East Chesterton, was seriously ill earlier this year with Legionnaires’ disease [Update: Gerri comments on Twitter: “I’m still recovering after my illness in June, it can take up to a year – but I’ve started to return to Council duties”]. Abbey ward’s Adam Pogonowski, who defected from the Greens to Labour on polling day this year, has the worst record of all, attending just eight out of fifteen meetings since the election. He was also in the news earlier this year after claiming nearly as much for taxi fares as the other 41 councillors put together. It remains to be seen what the voters of Abbey ward will make of his record should he decide to seek re-election in 2014.